Palatability of bucker ensiled willow as a winter diet item for browsing herbivores

Browsing herbivores in zoological institutions may be severely limited in the amount of natural browse offered, especially in winter months, with implications for gastrointestinal and overall animal health. A large quantity of freshly cut willow browse (~6100 kg) was ensiled in June 2010 after chipping the product into a lined 15’ x 6’ x 6’ container with molasses (~4% of...

An evaluation of browse silage production as a feed component for zoo herbivores

Browse is an essential part of many zoo animals’ diet. Our prevailing temperate climate in Southern Ontario makes it impossible to provide enough fresh browse year round. Therefore browse is preserved by ensiling. In this research we compared harvest time, nutrient content and time of preservation. Apple (Malus domestica) was used as the sole browse plant species.Leaves, stems and immature...

Examination of palatability of extruded primate diet using three flavors

Commercial diets are often essential parts of captive primate nutrition. However, consumption of dry extruded products can be difficult to encourage. Food and flavor preferences have been observed in captive primates and may be affected by palatability. This study examines the palatability of a commercial extruded primate diet when compared to 3 diets containing new flavors. Mazuri® Primate Browse Biscuit...

Nutritional and physical characteristics of commercial hand-feeding formulas for parrots

Hand-rearing is a common practice for the propagation of psittacines, however, research on their nutrition is limited and the neonatal requirements are not well understood. We analyzed the nutrient composition and physical characteristics of 15 commercially available parrot handfeeding formulas. Formulas were compared with the average nutritional content of the crops of free living Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) chicks. When the formulas were prepared...

Prevalence of antibiotic resistance in zoo animal foods

Antibiotic resistant bacteria have been isolated from various human foods. These findings suggest that the food chain may play a role in disseminating antibiotic resistance to consumers. We will discuss the principals of antibiotic resistance and our recent study investigating the presence, identification, functionality, and transferability of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes isolated from zoo animal foods. A handout with an extended...

Napoleon didn’t conquer Europe by feeding his army rotten tomatoes or how to get the most from your produce investment

Proper handling and storage of produce items can increase shelf life thus positively impacting budget. At the Saint Louis Zoo we have tried various approaches to storage and have a system that works well for us. From which items to hold in the Kitchen area and to which produce items to hold in the cooler and the storage method that extends product integrity,...

Food safety and sanitation

Food Safety and Sanitation is a big aspect of our daily operation and by providing a safe and clean environment you can maintain quality food for the entire collection. The purpose is to help others understand that by doing everything possible to reduce and, or eliminate the threat of food-borne illnesses, that you can keep your food, equipment and staff...

Commissary standards and assessment

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) developed the “standards and assessment program” (S&A) as a coaching tool to assist the curatorial staff and supervisory keepers in animal operations at the zoo. This program tailors each section to meet the needs of that animal area following the standards set up by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Association of...

Dietary iron absoption ant the role of tannins in Eastern (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and Southern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor)

Three diet treatments were fed for at least 6 months at 6 institutions to a total of 11 black rhinoceros to assess the effect of tannins on iron status. Diet treatments were: 1.) a pellet/mixed hay diet, which reflected the diet historically fed; 2.) a pellet/mixed hay diet with quebracho added to the pellets as a source of iron binding...

Hand-rearing and growth of two ibex (Capra ibex nubiana) kids from 24 hours to weaning at 105 days of age

Two male ibex kids were hand-reared from approximately 24 h after birth. Goat production and exotic captive small ruminant management systems were researched and compared to National Research Council (NRC) energy requirements in order to design a strategy for optimal feeding and growth. Weights were collected on each ibex daily or every other day throughout rearing to evaluate gain and...

Vitamin analysis reliability: A case study testing supplements and supplemented meat products for vitamin levels at three commercial laboratories in the United States

Regularly scheduled laboratory analysis of feed samples in zoological institutions is a necessary practice for maintenance of the highest levels of quality control. As such, factors such as cost, stability of product, and available storage environment may influence sampling protocols at each institution. The choice of laboratory used for analysis generally considers location and shipping concerns, availability of testing, methodology...

Selected eucalyptus preference by the koalas (Phascolarctos cinsereus) at the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has the largest group of Queensland koalas in captivity outside Australia. Many of these koalas are on loan in different facilities through North America. Due to the large number of koalas, San Diego Zoo Global maintains an over 4 ha plantation of eucalyptus. A preliminary study conducted at the San Diego Zoo found a variability in...

Quantifying the activity of captive Asian elephants through the use of a tri-axial accelerometer GPS, and behavioral observation

Quantifying activity levels and specific behaviors in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) has proven challenging and yet is important for managing these animals in zoos. Wild elephants spend a large portion of their day foraging; while in captivity, this activity is significantly decreased. To reduce the development of health risks such as obesity and the formation of undesirable behaviors, new...

Feeding behavior of a herd of Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at the San Deigo Zoo

The objective of this study was to determine the feeding behavior of a herd of 2.5 Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) (Table 1) and compare this to feeding behavior in other zoo and free-ranging giraffe. In May 2020, 16 h of observations (0500 through 2100) were divided into four time periods (early morning, late morning, early afternoon, evening) and the...

Evaluation of hand-rearing formula for greater Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park) has hand-raised a number of rhinoceros calves, including southern white (Ceratotherium simum simum), black (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and greater Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis). In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any handreared neonate species, it is important...